McCown, Martin fend off Garco opponents |

McCown, Martin fend off Garco opponents

Heidi Rice and Donna GrayRifle and Glenwood Springs Correspondents

If nothing else, Mayor Keith Lambert of Rifle hopes that his campaign to run for county commissioner will encourage elected officials to make things better for the people of Garfield County.Lambert, a Democrat, challenged incumbent Commissioner Larry McCown for the District 3 seat. According to unofficial final election results released early Wednesday morning, Lambert lost, with McCown garnering 9,993 votes to Lambert’s 9,143 votes – a 52 percent to 48 percent margin.”For me, it was an election about the people,” said Lambert. “The entire campaign was about people and the needs of the people. I really looked at that as an important aspect of the campaign.”McCown, a Republican, has served two four-year terms as a Garfield County commissioner. His campaign focused on his experience with the oil and gas industry, as well as his knowledge of county issues.”I have to say the local campaign, mine and John’s [Martin], were good, positive campaigns,” McCown said Tuesday night. “We stuck to the issues and never varied from the points or stances we took. We stayed the course. … Greg [Jeung] and Keith ran a good campaign, as well.”Lambert will continue as mayor and hinted that he may seek a county commissioner position again in the future. He will be up for re-election to the Rifle City Council next September.Incumbent Martin narrowly won the nod from Garfield County voters to hold his commissioner seat in District 2.According to unofficial results from the Garfield County Clerk’s office, Martin received 9,864 votes to opponent Jeung’s 9,635, or 51 percent to 49 percent.Martin said an automatic recount would not apply since he won by slightly more than 1 percent, and it takes a 1 percent margin to trigger a recount.Jeung said he would not contest the outcome.For his third and final term, Martin said he would focus on improving relations with local governments.”There are some issues we need to listen to,” said Martin, echoing Jeung’s campaign pledge to improve communication between city and county governments. “We need to sit down after the election and meet with every municipality, every organization and every action group [in the county] and decide what to set our focus on.”

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